Hyderabad: ‘Ashwathama’ begins with a prologue by Pawan Kalyan explaining a scene from the Kurukshetra battle in the Indian epic Mahabharata. The prologue tells us that as Ashwathama questions injustice, he stands out from the rest. This episode presents a clear picture to the viewers that the protagonist in the movie will fight fiercely like how Ashwathama fought against the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra battle.
This ‘Ashwathama’ is all about how Gana (Naga Shaurya) finds a battle to fight and how well he does it to return victorious. The movie is an okayish action thriller that has its moments. The proceedings start at a snail’s pace and pick up steam after about 30 minutes.
Then, we are introduced to the core plot of the movie – young women mysteriously getting pregnant without their knowledge. The drama around the suspense is handled well by the director Ramana Teja, who made a decent debut, but once the suspense is revealed there is nothing much to cheer.
Gana comes to India to attend his sister’s wedding. One day after his sister’s engagement, Gana notices his sister attempting suicide. Gana saves her, and to his surprise, Gana learns that his sister got pregnant without her knowledge. Gana stumbles upon many such similar cases and he starts connecting the dots to trace this uncanny phenomenon. How Gana solves this puzzle is the premise of ‘Ashwathama’.
In addition to donning the hat of story writer for this film, Naga Shaurya who hitherto did lover boy roles turns into an action hero. His efforts in both the roles were on point as the subject of the movie is riveting and he did enact it well. But once the manhunt by Gana is finished, the climax looks a bit hurried given the tension that was built up for the antagonist.
The characterization of the antagonist can be said as a major plus for this thriller. With his clever, psychotic, and dreadful acts throughout the story, Bengali actor Jishhu Sengupta as Dr. Manoj Kumar steals the show.
Background score by Ghibran is effective and ‘Ashwathama’ with its interesting storyline has enough thrilling moments.